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NLCS Gameday: Dodgers at Phillies, Game 5

Los Angeles Dodgers (1-3) at Philadelphia Phillies (3-1)

Vicente Padilla, RHP vs. Cole Hamels, LHP

Time: 8:07 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Clear, 50
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The unbelievable comeback from two days ago will be forever etched into our memories as one of the greatest moments in Phillies history.  And now its time to forget about it.  For now.

Tonight, let’s focus on the match up at hand, and ending this thing in five.  The man responsible for that out of the gate is Cole Hamels.  The Phillies ace of the 2008 postseason has pitched like a middle-of-the-rotation guy this entire year, and the weight falls squarely on his shoulders to close out a second straight NL Pennant.  In Game 1, Hamels was so-so, allowing four earned runs, two of which came on a Manny Ramirez bomb. Hamels was gift wrapped a victory thanks to the offense in that game, but pitched anything like an ace.  Which Cole Hamels shows up tonight?

Another pertinent question is, which Vicente Padilla will show up tonight?  Will it be the mediocre Padilla that was released by the Texas Rangers mid-season, or the Padilla that has yet to lose in Dodger Blue?  The ex-Phillie has been lights out in the playoffs, but tonight he goes on shorter rest than normal, having pitched Game 2.  The outing ended in ND, but he made his presence felt.  His all-of-the-sudden wicked four-seam fastball was reaching 96, plus was aided by a devastating slider coming in around 87. He can be had, however, and if the Phillies want success, they’ll have to jump on him early and often.

The stigma surrounding Hamels is his inability to keep his head in the game.  At times, it appears he lacks focus, which won’t do tonight.  The conditions should be perfect for Hamels, with slighly balmier temps coupled with a night game.  No more excuses, just win, baby. A World Series Berth hangs in the balance.

A few Dodgers really have Hamels’ number, including Manny Ramirez who has a .375 average with two homers against the Phils lefty.  Others who have shined against Hamels are James Loney (7-for-20, 2 HR) and Matt Kemp (8-for-20).  Some have not fared so well including Andre Ethier (4-for-19) and Rafael Furcal (2-for-17).

Records could be set tonight: Ryan Howard needs an RBI to set the ML Postseason record for RBI in consecutive games (He’s now tied with Lou Gehrig at eight).  Chase Utley has reached base in 24 straight games in the postseason, one shy of Boog Powell’s record.

The Phillies can do something that has never been done in this 125-year history of this franchise: win back-to-back NL Pennants.  Let’s do it.

Tonight’s Lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Ibanez (LF), Feliz (3B), Ruiz (C), Blanton (P).

KenzingerYour Gameday Beer – Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale
This is a kick ass beer for a kick ass night.  Yards Philly Pale Ale has a smooth, golden body with a bright, fresh taste. It’s a bit hoppy and it considered by some to be more of a summer beer, but the taste resonates through all of the seasons.  Some also say it has an earthy flavor, and I agree, but it isn’t overpowering by any means. Pick up a case for a shade under $30, and enjoy a victory with loved ones tonight.  The beer is exciting, and this night is exciting as well. – By Pat


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